Young v. American Mini-Theatres

427 U.S. 50 (1976)


D adopted its Anti-Skid Row ordinance to state that adult theatres could not be within 1000 feet of each other or within 500 feet of residential neighborhoods. American Mini-Theatres (P) owned two establishments that violated the amended ordinance. P sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The District Court concluded that the ordinances represented a rational attempt to preserve the city's neighborhoods. It held that the disparate treatment of adult theaters and other theaters was justified by a compelling state interest, and therefore did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. It then concluded that the regulation of the places where adult films could be shown did not violate the First Amendment. The Court of Appeals reversed. The ordinances imposed a prior restraint on constitutionally protected communication, and therefore 'merely establishing that they were designed to serve a compelling public interest' provided an insufficient justification for a classification of motion picture theaters on the basis of the content of the materials they purvey to the public. D appealed.